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Calliope

ratings
140
REVIEWS
139
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
188

  • Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (7644)
    Performance
    (4163)
    Story
    (4196)

    Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way.

    Pamela says: "That Vampire Said ...."
    "I was curious because of True Blood, but....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping this would be an adult story, like the TV show that it spawned, but in fact it reads more like it's a book I'd find in the "young adult" section of the library. Not quite as teenaged as Twilight, but still a lot of the book sounds rather juvenile, particularly the romance part of the story. Not really bad, but not particularly good either. Which is a shame, because I think it could have been better than it is. The narration is a little uneven, sometimes with a trace of one character's accent bleeding into the next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pale Blue Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Louis Bayard
    • Narrated By Charles Leggett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    When the body of a suicide victim disappears at West Point Military Academy in 1831, only to be discovered hours later missing its heart, the Academy calls on retired detective Gus Landor to investigate. Landor is something of a legend among his peers, noted for an uncanny, Holmesian ability to read people. When Edgar Allan Poe, a new cadet, comes forth with his own cryptic conclusion - that the man Landor is looking for is a poet - Landor is intrigued and enlists Poe as his assistant.

    Calliope says: "Wonderful novel with excellent narration"
    "Wonderful novel with excellent narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great listen! Although it might be notable for Edgar Allen Poe's inclusion in the book as a cadet at West Point, the novel really stands on it's own even if he weren't the character who helps the protagonist investigate murders and mayhem on the West Point campus. The narrator voices the characters well, and it was an all-round pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death in the Clouds: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    From seat number nine, Hercule Poirot is almost ideally placed to observe his fellow air travelers on this short flight from Paris to London. Over to his right sits a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite. Ahead, in seat number 13, is the Countess of Horbury, horribly addicted to cocaine and not doing too good a job of concealing it. Across the gangway in seat number eight, a writer of detective fiction is being troubled by an aggressive wasp. Yes, Poirot is almost ideally placed to take it all in.

    Calliope says: "Poirot plays matchmaker while solving a murder"
    "Poirot plays matchmaker while solving a murder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love these Christie mysteries read by Hugh Fraser - he is wonderful. This outing has Poirot on an airplane trip from France to England when a fellow passenger is murdered on board. Like an isolated house mystery, those present are all suspects, and they are the only suspects. With the company of a British and French police inspector and the help of some fellow passengers, Poirot manages to sniff out the murderer. Oh, and along the way he plays matchmaker to two lonely passengers -- so in the end, all is well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11621)
    Performance
    (10836)
    Story
    (10844)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Could've been, should've been, better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the concept of this book, and I had high hopes. It could have been -- it should have been -- a lot better than it was. Sadly, the quality of the writing was pretty bad, and it ruined a good concept.

    There's a kind of paradox in the book's concept, I think. It is filled with geeky 80s references that will only mean anything to those over 40 (or retro-geeks), but it's written with a protagonist and style of a young adult novel - and those readers are too young to get any of those references that populate this book. To try and overcome that, there are long-ish explanations of the movies, arcade games, and music from that decade that are used in the book, but in fact those explanations wouldn't be (shouldn't be) needed by those the book claims to want to appeal to. The result is that I feel like either the book is trying to teach me about a time period I fully remember, or that the book is trying to name-drop and wow me with an extensive list of pop culture to show me the author has done his research. A more engaging and subtle approach would have been to use the references without explaining them directly, slowly revealing an explanation in the context and usage. But that might have required too much writing talent, which I'm afraid this author simply doesn't really have.

    This is one of those books that seemingly gets by (and gets high ratings) based on the subject matter, not the quality. The concept of an all-consuming universal alternate reality on line was great, as is the idea of an Easter egg hunt through that universe.....but it turns out the book is little more than a badly written story that drops names of 80s games, music, and movies as a badge of research, the way high school students would pad the bibliography list of their essays to make it look like they've done lots of research.

    Wil Wheaton as narrator is a perfect fit, culturally, but, frankly, he's only average as an audiobook performer. Limited range of characterizations and inflections, it's more a recitation than an actual performance.

    I leave disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (667)
    Story
    (672)

    In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.

    Darwin8u says: "A high-wire, high-risk, high-reward masterpiece"
    "a sociopathic dreamer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read several of Patricia Highsmith's books before, though this is the first audiobook of her work that I have listened too. She is wonderful at writing psychologically creepy thrillers, and that is relayed nicely in this production. What I had not gotten from the movie version was how much Tom Ripley was a dreamer. Yes, he was a sociopath, but he was also a rampant dreamer who created elaborate scenarios in his mind of what his life could be like, "if only......." Sort of like a sociopathic Walter Mitty. His lies were all about making his life easy, but he never knew how he would do that until the opportunity presented itself. When it did, though, he showed no hesitation, conscience, or guilt about what he had to do, and was a practiced and skilled liar.

    The narration might be considered too slow for some, but I thought it created the slightly creepy and sly sort of environment that fit Highsmith's style of writing and characterizations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE Masked Ball at Broxley Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (495)
    Performance
    (452)
    Story
    (447)

    A delectable prequel to the national bestselling Royal Spyness mysteries featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch—thirty forth in line to the throne, and England’s poorest heiress. At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man—until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball at Broxley Manor. Georgie is uncertain why she was invited, until she learns that the royal family intends to marry her off to a foreign prince, one reputed to be mad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Strident narration, shallow story"
    "lightweight introduction of characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got the feeling that this piece might have been some sort of test or audition for the series, or for the audiobook productions.........The story really has little to it, and serves mostly as an introduction to some of the characters (Georgie, Darcy, Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales). It also seems that Katherine Kellgren's narration is a bit "off", so I wonder if this was her first outing for the characters - she was (of course) still very good, but some of the characters' voices were a little too raw and overblown.

    I enjoyed it as a bit of a freebie for fans of the series, but it's no where near as good as the actually novels in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Streets of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    It is May 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama. As Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights demonstrations begin to fill the streets, prejudices awaken and tempers flare. Amid the violence and confusion, a deaf black girl is found raped and murdered. Veteran homicide detective Ben Wellman pursues the murderer through the throngs of protesters, the pool halls of the black district of Bearmatch, the white mansions of Mountain Brook, and, finally, even in his own department. As he did in Sacrificial Ground, Cook has created a novel of uncommon force and resonance.

    Calliope says: "Good book, great narration"
    "Good book, great narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this audiobook mostly on the strength of the narrator -- I've heard many of his other performances and loved them all. He was equally great in this, but the book was not as focused as I would have liked. Good history - 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama - with lots of activity and lots of emotion, but it tended to get lost a little and didn't stay on course as much as I think it needed to in order to keep the tension and interest in a way that would have made it great. Good but not great is the best way I can think to describe it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Man's Folly: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (90)

    Whilst organising a mock murder hunt for the village fete hosted by Sir George and Lady Stubbs, a feeling of dread settles on the famous crime novelist Adriane Oliver. Call it instinct, but it's a feeling she just can't explain...or get away from. In desperation she summons her old friend, Hercule Poirot - and her instincts are soon proved correct when the "pretend" murder victim is discovered playing the scene for real, a rope wrapped tightly around her neck.

    Lydia says: "If only sachet hadn't narrated it!"
    "Disappointed with story and performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know that David Suchet is considered to have delivered the ultimate portrayals of Poirot in his 25 years portraying the man in television movie series "Agatha Christie: Poirot"......but that was not evident in his performance narrating this book. I guess it was fitting that the last movie he filmed as Poirot was Dead Man's Folly. If I didn't know who he was, I would have claimed he was overacting and chewing the scenery with some ridiculously cliched accents and over-the-top emphatic declarations in the final reveal.

    The actual story is fine, but hardly one of Christie's better ones. The set up is a good one -- a "murder hunt" to follow clues is part of the entertainment at the annual fete at an old English estate, but the girl portraying the victim actually gets murdered. Sounds like it should have been better than it turned out to be, which seemed somehow both formulaic and muddled at the same time. All the usual suspects (red herrings, distractions, unknown participants) are there, but not presented well. This time I think everyone (Poirot, Christie, and Suchet) merely phoned it in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

    John S says: "Great Mystery Classic"
    "One of my favourite novels, ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great novel, and considered to be one of the best crime/thriller novels ever written. That might be surprising to some, since it's not about the police or a detective, or even really about a criminal enterprise at all, but about a young girl who marries an older, wealthier man and becomes the mistress of a large, famous, classic English manor named Manderley in the early 20th century. She is haunted by concerns that she will not live up to the perfect perception that her husband's friends, family, and staff have of the now-deceased first wife, Rebecca. The struggle of the naive, young second wife against her dynamic and powerful older husband, as well as by the imprint of his first wife still left in their home are palpable. As for the crime and the mystery? Well, it involves Rebecca's death and why she seems to still haunt the memories of everyone who lives and works at Manderley.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mind Scrambler: A John Ceepak Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (611)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (367)

    John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are making the rounds in Atlantic City when Danny runs into his former crush, Katie. She's working for a magician named Rock, and her life seems to be in better order than Boyle could have hoped for. But Ceepak and Boyle soon find themselves on another case when Katie is found strangled to death. It is up to Ceepak and Boyle to find out who killed her. Their lives and the lives of others depend on it.

    Amazon Customer says: "Fun ride on the Mind Scrambler"
    "ancillary characters make this one good fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not my favourite in the series, but the excellent narration and the ancillary characters (I bust a gut laughing at the old lawyer) make this one still good fun. Although Ceepak and Boyle are in Atlantic City this time, Danny Boyle keeps making references to either the town or people he knew from Sea Haven.......hopefully that extra stuff won't be necessary if the characters get back to their home turf of Sea Haven. I liked the new summer cop introduced in Hell Hole, and I hope we'll see more of her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Washington Irving
    • Narrated By Tom Mison
    Overall
    (1200)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1124)

    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

    Sara says: "Treasures Of Jolly Autumn"
    "good narration, old-style writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good and thrilling ghost story, when you get to it.......in the last 1/4 of the story. Those who only know of the headless horseman might be put off by the long (but interesting) introduction to the life and character of the protagonist, Ichabod Crane.

    For those who understand that the popularly known "ghost" (the Headless Horseman) is not actually the main character in the story and are not put off by the older style of writing, this is a good story and it's clear why it's a classic. Tom Mison does a good performance narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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